Funding cuts for people with disabilities sustained for third year in a row

Media-release, Stories | March 29, 2022

The Federal Government has dealt another cruel blow to people with disabilities, with no increase to the Aid budget’s central disability-inclusion allocation following years of devastating cuts.

Leading disability-inclusive international development agency, CBM Australia, is dismayed that the Government has frozen investment in the central disability-inclusion allocation at $9.6 million, ignoring calls to reverse the sustained cut in last year’s aid budget.

“The federal government must immediately commit to increased funding for people with disabilities and reverse this catastrophic decline,” said CBM Australia’s CEO, Jane Edge.

“This deplorable failure of government to prioritise and properly fund support for people with disabilities in the aid program will cause further deterioration of essential services and programming when it is needed most.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people with disabilities further into poverty. They have experienced higher death rates, higher job losses, greater incidence of violence, and less access to economic recovery,” Ms Edge said.

“Australia has an opportunity to step up and provide adequate funding to ensure people with disabilities are included in recovery efforts and given a pathway to be productive, thriving members of their communities.”

The central allocation funds critical work in partnerships, capacity development and technical expertise, including for our nearest neighbours in the Pacific.

Australia was among the first to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and has an obligation to support human rights for all people with disabilities.

“The government has once again ignored our calls to restore and increase the central disability inclusion budget, meaning that people with disabilities who have been overwhelmingly impacted by the last two years will be left even further behind,” said Kerryn Clarke, Executive Officer for the Australian Disability and Development Consortium.

“While we welcome Australia’s commitment to develop a new disability inclusion policy, Australia cannot adequately address the urgent needs of people with disabilities and its policy ambition without adequate funding.” said Ms Clarke.

“We call on Government to restore central disability funding and provide strong policy to guide our investments for people with disabilities in the Australian aid program.”

 

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